Following last year's rent-increase-cap announcement, the B.C. government has now set the rate that landlords can hike rents in 2020 at 2.6 per cent.
The new rate is the province’s revised annual rate of inflation, and is two per cent lower than it would have been prior to the rent-hike cap announced in September 2018. Prior to that, the rent-increase cap was inflation plus two per cent, which in 2018 totalled 4.5 per cent.
“Renters need secure housing they can afford,” stated housing minister Selina Robinson. “That's why we removed the additional two per cent above inflation that the old government allowed for rent increases since 2004. Under the old formula, renters would have seen a rent hike of more than nine per cent over 2019 and 2020. Because of our changes and the removal of the fixed-term loophole, people will no longer face the unreasonable rent hikes that were allowed for years.”
Landlords renting out a $1,250 per month apartment (the average rent in B.C.) will be able to increase the rent by $300 less next year, compared with the previous rules.
David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC, said in September 2018 that the reduction in allowable rent increases presented several problems, including making construction of purpose-built rental buildings much less financially viable for developers. LandlordBC also issued a statement saying that, even at 4.5 per cent, the rent increase may not be enough to cover the increased costs landlords face in renting one or more suites.
— With files from Jessica Kerr, Vancouver Courier